by Dan Crowe
After a long week's rest, the Cobber wrestlers are hosting the MIAC Dual tournament this weekend at 6 p.m. Friday at Memorial Auditorium.
The dual will consist of all six MIAC teams, including Division III National Champions Augsburg College. Others are St. Olaf, St. Thomas, Carlton College and St. John's.
The wrestling begins Friday when the Cobbers face St. John's. The Johnnies have been consistently winning in the MIAC for the past several seasons, and have one of the strongest lineups in the conference. The Cobbers will then face the Augsburg Auggies at 8 p.m.
The Auggies have won the MIAC for the past three years and are back-to-back Division III National Champs. Augsburg's grapplers have recently wrestled several Division I teams including National Champion Iowa Hawkeyes.
The round-robin style tournament will resume at noon on Saturday with Concordia wrestling St. Thomas. The Cobbers will be facing St. Olaf at 1 p.m. and Carleton at 4 p.m. The wrestling is continuous and should continue until 6 p.m.
This will be the first match between the MIAC teams this season, so it should be a good preview of the MIAC conference finals. The finals will be held on February 24 at a site yet to be announced.
Tournament placement will depend on overall team scores, with Augsburg as the clear favorite. Look for your Cobber grapplers to place among the top three teams, which will be a marked improvement in ranking in the past several years. The team, which has had their first weekend rest of the season from tournaments, should be fresh going into the tournament. The last tournament was an individual meet in which two first places were obtained by sophomore Colby Marich who is 9-6 this season, and captain Kevin Jackson, junior, with a 7-3 record
Senior captain Dean Nielson and first-year student Nathan Reiff placed fifth which made this the most successful tournament in Cobber wrestling history.
Jackson stated that "we have the most in-depth lineup we've had in at least five seasons. Our team is young, and we have a good deal of prospective freshmen to add to the lineup next season."
Expect the pace of the tournament to be fast and furious, with each team vying for bragging rights until the MIAC finals.
It does look to be an exciting weekend of some of the best wrestling in the nation so support our hard working men on the mat.
After the Dualst this weekend, the Cobbers will take part in the Valley City Tournament Feb. 3.
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